Team implementing high-profile review to meet with White House 

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, May 8, 2015

A team of Energy Department officials is slated to meet with the White House in the coming weeks to begin implementing recommendations in the Quadrennial Energy Review, a high-profile report that laid out the administration’s outlook on energy infrastructure.

Melanie Kenderdine, DOE’s director of energy policy and systems analysis, said at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., yesterday that she met with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to discuss the “team,” which will meet with the White House the week after next — after President Obama attends the next G7 meeting in Germany early next month.

Kenderdine revealed last month that Karen Wayland, DOE’s deputy director for state and local cooperation in the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis, would be leading the group of agency officials (Greenwire, April 2).

Although Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has said she’d welcome language from the administration on energy issues, Kenderdine said policymakers have not yet reached out to DOE for technical guidance in reference to the QER.

“Whenever Congress asks us for technical assistance we provide it,” Kenderdine said. “They haven’t asked for technical assistance at this point in time. We just sat down yesterday as I mentioned to start firming up an implementation plan — there are 63 recommendations in the QER, and we’re going through looking at ones that actually require statutory changes.”

The bulk of the review’s recommendations, she added, don’t require statutory changes, and there are many steps the administration and DOE can take on their own.

DOE has briefed both House and Senate energy committees but not all issues fit neatly into one committee’s jurisdiction, Kenderdine said. Ports and inland waterways, for example, don’t fall within the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee’s jurisdiction, and yet the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and electric reliability do, she said.

“It’s very early, we just got the QER done and slept a little bit, and we’re working on an implementation plan,” she said. “The first thing we need to do is discuss it with the White House.”

Kenderdine said that as soon as she and other DOE officials meet with the White House, the administration will be calling in various agencies to talk to them about approaching the relevant committees on the Hill.

“We’ve gone to the energy committee, that’s our jurisdiction, but I haven’t spoken to the transportation committee yet,” she said, adding that Moniz has spoken often about the QER with Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.